Attorneys in the Eckert Seamans Telecommunications Working Group are recognized for their advocacy on diverse federal and state telecommunications issues, specializing in competitive wireline, wireless, and infrastructure issues. Eckert’s telecom attorneys represent clients before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the state public utilities commissions on issues at the forefront of the evolving telecommunications markets, ranging from network interconnection, to the regulation of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services, to allocation and management of wireless spectrum. The Group draws on the varied resources of a former Congressman, a former state public utilities Commissioner, former senior telecom in-house counsel, and former state commission attorneys.
Our Wireline attorneys support both competitive and incumbent local exchange carriers in overcoming barriers to the expansion of their businesses, solving complex regulatory problems related to intercarrier compensation, VoIP regulation, and number resource allocation. Eckert’s Wireless attorneys guide clients through the complexities of spectrum allocation, as well as transactions involving the lease, sale, and joint use of wireless assets. The Firm’s Infrastructure clients benefit from our expertise in negotiating public and private rights-of-way, pole attachment, and fiber and conduit agreements. In all practice areas, the Telecommunications Working Group represents clients in litigating complaints at the FCC, state commissions, and federal and state court litigation, including disputes over intercarrier compensation, spectrum-related issues, and pole attachment and rights-of-way disputes.
Wireline Telecommunications and Competition Issues
- Negotiate and arbitrate Telecom Act regulated and unregulated interconnection agreements with incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs), competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs), and wireless carriers.
- Represent carrier clients in FCC and state commission rulemaking and policy proceedings addressing a broad range of issues related to intercarrier compensation, regulation of VoIP, access to numbering resources, and protect of telecommunications consumers.
- Represent CLECs and VoIP providers in application proceedings before the FCC and state commissions for licensing and certification to provide domestic and international services, including local and long distance services.
- Represent carriers in receiving necessary federal and state regulatory approvals for various transactional matters, including mergers and corporate reorganizations.
- Represent CLECs in FCC, state commission, and federal and state court litigation pertaining to implementation of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, recovery of unpaid access and reciprocal compensation, and violations of federal and state statutes and regulations.
- Counsel competitive and specialized service providers (e.g., VoIP providers, wholesale carriers, unbundled network element platform (UNE-P) providers, and resellers) and Internet Service Providers on a variety of regulatory issues unique to their respective lines of business, including FCC and state compliance, reporting, and disclosure obligations.
- Advise regulated telecommunications service providers on consumer privacy and data security obligations arising under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, and the FCC’s implementing rules as well as various state-specific regulations.
- Negotiate regulated and unregulated agreements for the purchase of telecommunications services, including agreements for the purchase, sale, and lease of fiber, equipment, and other telecommunications assets.
Wireless Telecommunications and Spectrum Management
- Represent interests of various stakeholders in rulemaking and policymaking proceedings before the FCC impacting the use and allocation of wireless spectrum resources.
- Represent spectrum users in application proceedings before the FCC for various classifications of wireless spectrum licenses, and advise applicants on related foreign ownership considerations.
- Negotiate agreements for the purchase, sale, lease, or sharing of authorized spectrum, including short-spacing agreements, and agreements for re-banding or re-location of frequencies, and other wireless telecommunications assets.
- Advise service providers on operational considerations related to unregulated service offerings, including WiFi.
- Represent wireless infrastructure owners in application proceedings before the FCC for tower construction or modification permissions.
- Advise clients on wireless infrastructure compliance matters, including FCC and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) tower lighting and painting requirements, and environmental impact considerations.
- Advise wireless spectrum licensees on FCC-imposed compliance obligations, internal investigations, and due diligence matters, and prepare comprehensive compliance manuals.
- Represent wireless spectrum licensees in complaint and enforcement proceedings before the FCC.
- Counsel clients on a wide variety of infrastructure-related issues, including issues relating to pole attachments, fiber and conduit agreements, municipal rights-of-way, and other public and private easement/lease agreements.
- Represent clients in pole attachment disputes in federal and state courts, and at the FCC. Represent communication tower operators and wireless communications service providers in real estate, contract, and trespass disputes.
- Represent carriers engaged in negotiating municipal, state and other public rights-of-way agreements. Guide carriers through the process of obtaining county and municipal approval for municipal rights-of-way agreements.
- Represent collocation companies, negotiating regulated and unregulated collocation agreements and litigating collocation disputes.
Key contacts for the Telecommunications Working Group are:
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